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What's in a name? Volume 1: The First

So, have you ever found yourself watching all the movies of an obscure Canadian director? And in the course of things you come across a film whose title is so baffling that you lose sleep over trying to figure it out? Yeah, I know.... I've lost count too. But this specific case involves the exploits of one William Fruet. The title in question: We are confronted with what looks like nurses running from some sort of insect creature. Yet, the title specifically mentions a "blue monkey". Hmmm, perhaps these women are actually strippers and they work at the "Blue Monkey" Or maybe the creature started as a monkey and has mutated. Regardless, we can plainly see that Steve Railsback is starring, so the road ahead is going to be bumpy at best. And so the story begins... An old man delivers a plant to a greenhouse run by an even older woman. He gets either bitten by an insect or picked by a thorn (it isn't made very clear) and immediately begins to feel ill. He is taken to the hospital where this happens: The old man chunks out a wormy pupa something. This leads to a rash of similar cases, and it's not long before the entire hospital is quarantined. But before all that we are introduced to our hero, Steve Railsback. Steve plays a cop bringing in his wounded partner. Steve meets the lovely Dr. Carson and we are immediately treated to scene after scene of plot points: a gang of latchkey kids that seem to run the hospital, a big-ass laser, and tunnels. Dogma95 this is not. The pupa is cut open for examination and a little insect is discovered. Leaving the insect in the hands of the sex crazed staff isn't the best move ever made because soon the examination room is left unguarded. Enter the latchkey gang: Like so many classic Japanese monster movies where children have the highest governmental clearance and are privy to and consulted on issues of world significance...here we have a happy-go-lucky group of kids that have total access to every area of the hospital. But unlike their Japanese counterparts who invariably mastermind the demise of Gaos or Guiron, these dipshits manage to set into motion events that lead to several horrible deaths. Also, none of these kids are named Kenny. The gang stumbles upon our recently de-pupa'd insect friend and decides that it looks hungry. The ringleader grabs the nearest whatever and proceeds to "feed" the creature. It starts to glow. The kids run away. And the janitor's fate is sealed: That "whatever" happens to be some sort of super growth hormone, because, that's exactly what you have lying around hospitals. Yep. This movie rocks. In the end, what you have is your basic, and possibly most blatant, rip-off of Aliens. Seriously...no lawsuits? Besides insects, children and dead janitors, this hospital is full of other great characters: Count Floyd shows up with a very pregnant Robin Duke. It seems there was some steamy action behind the scenes at SCTV. A pair of elderly patients drink a bottle of rye out of Dixie cups in the middle of a power outage. This is your Canadian health care system at work. There's an entomologist, a guy who jumps to his death from a hospital window, and John Vernon...but no monkeys, let alone one that is blue. Really...none...anywhere. So...what's the deal? Why is this movie called Blue Monkey ?!?!?! I'll tell you. There is a scene, at around 58:38, of the kids exploring yet another part of the hospital. They are wondering what exciting things they will discover. One of them...did I mention that one of the little girls is played by Sarah Polley...anyway...one of them says, "I bet we find a big blue monkey." And there's your title. A line easily missed the first nine times you watch the movie. In a bizarre twist of sorts, the film was released in Canada as Green Monkey. So the questions are begged. Why change the title? Was that line overdubbed to accommodate the new title? Why call it Anything Monkey at all? Blue Monkey is truly a riddle wrapped in mystery inside an enigma. Other films by the auteur Fruet available at your local Scarecrow Video:
  • Wedding in White An actually good drama starring Carol Kane as a condemned victim of rape. Donald Pleasaence plays her really jerk of a father.
  • Death Weekend Boy meets girl. Girl goes to boy's lake house for the weekend. Boy tries to take secret nude photo's. Girl finds out. Gang of punks arrive. Boy gets killed. Revenge happens.
  • Search and Destroy Who is killing the remaining members of Perry King's former Army unit? George Kennedy is in this one, and so are some of the worst cops ever.
  • Funeral Home Blue Monkey is to Aliens as Funeral Home is to Psycho.
  • Spasms Oliver Reed, Peter Fonda, a snake cult, and gross bubbling skin effects. Can't go wrong, right? Wrong.

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